Monday, February 13, 2006


I absolutely love this story.

Margaret Andrews, day-care provider
'Nanny' built business from basement

Many knew Margaret G. Andrews only as "Nanny."

"She would take in all kinds of people," said great-granddaughter Deitrea Martir of Mount Washington.

Women and children who were having troubles would be invited into her Glenwood Avenue home in Avondale. That philosophy translated into her business.

In the early 1970s, Mrs. Andrews opened her home up for child day care. After a few years she had a small staff and 40 children.

The Cincinnati Health Department found that she had too many children for her remodeled basement in 1982. The health department helped her find a new location in the basement of a Walnut Hills church.

Mrs. Andrews got a license for 56 children. She soon exceeded that capacity, watching 95 children at one point.

After a couple of moves, Nanny's Multi-Level Learning Center in Avondale has 25 staff members and cares for about 140 children - some are children of the children Mrs. Andrews cared for in her basement.

Mrs. Andrews died Jan. 29 at St. Margaret Hall in O'Bryonvilleof congestive heart failure. She was 93.

Mrs. Andrews was born in Johnstown, Pa., in 1912. She married at 16 and didn't finish high school. In 1947 she owned and operated her first business, Margaret's Snack Shack in Johnstown.

She moved to Cincinnati in 1962, took classes and received her high school equivalency diploma at the age of 51.

Mrs. Andrews began baby-sitting as a favor to a neighbor, which soon transformed into her child-care business.

"Even though my great-grandmother turned out to be a great businesswoman," said Martir, "it wasn't the business part that motivated her. It was the reaching out to people."

Mrs. Andrews' daughter, LaVerne Briggs, gradually took over the business. Other family members work in different facets.

Survivors include daughters, LaVerne Briggs of Avondale and Senie Quarrels of Philadelphia; eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

Her husband, Henderson Andrews; and sons, Philip and Ronald Andrews died previously.
Services have been held. Burial was in Walnut Hills Cemetery.

Memorials: Nanny's Multi-Level Learning Center, 3494 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45229.

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